Hometown Eats: Scotto’s Pizza

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 3:20 PM EST
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GLASGOW, Va. (WDBJ) - Rockbridge County is right in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, it’s rugged and mostly rural, so one of the last things you’d likely find is true Italian food.

Wrong. We’re headed to Scotto’s Pizza, where you can get a bite of the boot of Italy in this week’s Hometown Eats.

“Kind of Italian pizza shop-meets-small town little diner,” said Scotto’s Pizza owner Francesco Scotto Di Rinaldi.

Right along the main drag of Glasgow you’ll find a little slice of Italy at Scotto’s Pizza, where owner Francesco Scotto Di Rinaldi is carrying on his family business with a twang.

“My dad came to America when he was about 16 from Naples, Italy. He worked in New Jersey at his family and cousins’ pizza shops; then he moved from New Jersey down to Virginia,” said Scotto.

Born and bred in Rockbridge County, Francesco has been a fixture at Scotto’s since the day they opened in December 2012. He never strayed from his Italian roots, but don’t think for one second this joint is only slinging pizza.

“We serve a lot of different types of food; we have the traditional New Jersey-style pizza shop, Philly cheesesteaks, NY-style hand-tossed pizza, and a lot of pasta dinners. We also do southern favorites, our hamburger steak dinner, we do grilled mushrooms and onions and brown gravy. Typically, people choose mashed potatoes with it. That’s definitely become a staple of the restaurant,” said Scotto.

Something else you can expect walking into Scotto’s is a warm welcome.

“The majority of my customers I know by name,” said Scotto.

“Everybody treats you nice and the food is good,” said Tim, who has been eating here for seven years.

“We’ll have people’s drinks on the table before they come out of the car because we see them coming,” joked Scotto.

You’ll get a history lesson of Rockbridge County on the walls and a piece of art stitched by Ms. Doris Wright representing the day Scotto’s opened. Even Francesco’s first buck is next to his first buck.

And what’s a family restaurant without honoring the past?

“A lot of my customers remember having their first job here back for these guys, so I hung the pictures of the old owners just to keep me focused, because one day it might be me on the wall. It goes back to the small-town diner feel. I try to show respect to the previous owners,” said Scotto.

On the menu, you’ll find daily lunch specials and everything from fish and chips to hot wings, but if you’re feeling extra saucy for a big city slice, I recommend going out of your way for this homemade pizza dough and sauce.

“I’m a big fan of just a large cheese pizza, extra crispy,” said Scotto.

I kept hearing about the cheesesteak and my man Michael on the flat top said the deluxe is the only way to go. It’s loaded with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and thinly sliced meat, topped with white American cheese.

Being a few miles from the Natural Bridge, lots of new faces come through the door, so it’s important to Francesco and his staff that they walk away with full bellies and with a memory.

“Before they leave, they’ll make comments like this is how we picture a diner-style restaurant when you think of the older movies when you walk in, and the waitress knows your name. It’s definitely kind of the typical Americana roadside experience,” said Scotto.

“What you eat and the company that you receive speak volumes,” said Tim.

Scotto’s Pizza, a hometown eat where Americana meets Italian.

Scotto’s Pizza is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and is at 853 Rockbridge Rd, Glasgow, VA 24555.